Summary: God designed us as complete spiritual beings. But to live right we must first think right. Viewing LIFE and MINISTRY From God’s Perspective; and OUR RESPONSE to His plan and purpose.

Systematic Spiritual Life

by Drew Stephens

Viewing LIFE and MINISTRY From God’s Perspective;

and OUR RESPONSE to His plan and purpose.

After 218 verses of introduction, Solomon got to the point of Ecclesiasties and reduced our spiritual life to this sentence, “the conclusion of the matter is this, fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”

That sentence can envelope all of spiritual life:

1. Fear God – Recognize Him for who He is

2. Keep His commandments – Do what He says

We are not going to simply Systematic Spiritual Life to the extend that Solomon did but I believe we can get a good broad understanding by examining 5 essential tenets.

Systematic Spiritual Life

Consists of these 5 Tenets


“Spiritual Thinking”

“As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.

Proverbs 23:7 NIV

The Divine Principle effects our thinking. In order to live right we must first think right.

Acknowledging the Divine Principle

“Spiritual Thinking”

“God in His sovereignty is weaving each of our lives together into a fabric that fulfills His ultimate plan and purposes, and bring Him glory.”

God threads our lives to converge with one another so as to effect His divine purposes in each life and upon the fabric of His plan as a whole.

There are times when we from our prospective must “circle” or seemingly “spin our wheels” while God is working upon others whose lives must intersect with our own. Conversely there are times when others must endure similar tests of patience while God is moving, and prompting us to be in the place of His purpose.

Illustration of Caleb and Joshua.

When God commanded the Israelites to send out spies into Canaan so that they could take possessions of the land, they sent our 12 spies. 10 of the spies came back and spread fear among the people of Israel. The people listened to them and because of their disobedience to God’s command they were forbidden to enter the nation of Israel for forty years, when all but two of those living when they came out of Egypt had died. The two who were allowed to enter the promised land were Joshua and Caleb. The tow spies who came back from Canaan and said the Lord is with us let us go and take the land.

They understood the Divine Principle. They knew that God was working to complete His purpose and plan. If He said go, the obstacle were irrelevant. They understood that God often chooses that which is unlikely and even impossible from human stand point to accomplish His purpose. The reason He chooses the unlikely and impossible is so that He will get the glory and not man.

Now lets look at this from the viewpoint of Joshua and Caleb. They were faithful. They were on God’s agenda and yet they had to circle around in the wilderness for forty years, why? God’s plan and purpose effected more that just them. He had a bigger plan in mind. He wanted to use the nation of Israel to be a witness of His glory to all the world.

Now God didn’t turn His back on Joshua and Caleb. Blessed them and used them for the furtherance of His plan and purpose. They alone were given the priviledge of entering the promised land.

In addition, God works in and through he lives of unbelievers. During the forty years in which Israel wandered in the wilderness. What had to happen in Jericho. Rahab the harlot had a role to play in God’s ultimate plan. Perhaps her family had to move to Jericho. She at some point had to fall on hard times and end up in the profession she followed. And she had to buy an apartment on the wall of Jericho. From her viewpoint an apartment on the wall enabled her to see when traveling men would be coming to the city. She could then be in the right place at the right time to practice her trade with the new-comers. From God’s viewpoint she was living in just the right place for Him to weave her life with the spies of Israel and eventually she was part of the lineage of Christ himself.

That is an example of the Divine Principle.

“God in His sovereignty is weaving each of our lives together into a fabric that fulfills His ultimate plan and purposes, and bring Him glory.”

Do you believe that God has a purpose for every creature? What about Satan the destroyer, does God have a purpose even for him?

Listen to Isaiah 54:16-17

“Behold, I have created the blacksmith who blows the coals in the fire, Who brings forth an instrument for his work; And I have created the spoiler (Destroyer in NIV) to destroy. No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me. Says the Lord.”

God created the destroyer to produce the heat necessary to form us into an instrument for God’s work. Just as the blacksmith needs a white hot flame to melt and mold iron, God uses the heat of adversity and flames of the Destroyer in our lives to forge us into a useful instrument.

When we truly understand the Divine Principle we discover that the purpose of all life, all creation, all situations, and all things is to bring GLORY to God.

The Lord hath made all things for Himself. Proverbs 16:4

For my own sake, even for my own sake, will I do it. For how should my name be polluted; and I will not give my glory to another.” Isaiah 48:11

Jonathon Edwards described it this way,

“God in seeking His glory seeks the good of His creatures, because the emanation of His glory implies the happiness of His creatures.”

The Divine Principle Illustrated

· God has written a beautiful symphony called Life.

· He has created each of us as a specific instrument, designed to produce a specific sound.

· He has written a specific part for each of us to play.

· Both our part and our instrument are designed to harmonize with one another.

We will find our ultimate fulfillment and purpose when we align ourselves to be the instrument God has created us to be and play the part He has written for us, thereby bringing glory to God by fulfilling His plan and purpose.

The Divine Principle Applied

What is our responsibility as an instrument in God’s orchestra?

1. To be the INSTRUMENT He created us to be.

Discover WHO God made us to be.

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

Ps 139:14 (KJV)

2. To play the PART He has written for us.

Discover God’s WILL and PURPOSE for us.

I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

Phil 3:12(NIV)

3. To stay in HARMONY with the others.

Purpose to live in UNITY.

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists and some pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Eph 4:11-13(NKJ)

4. To keep our EYES on the Director.

Determine who you are trying to PLEASE.

“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” Gal 1:10 (KJV)

5. To stay in TIME and SYNC with God and others.

Purpose to put others FIRST.

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Phil 2:3-5


“Spiritual BIRTH and LIFE”

Jesus said to Nicodemus in John chapter 3…

“except a man be born again he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

Psalm 8:4 asks the question… “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”

Why was God so concerned with mankind as to go the ultimate extreme of offering Himself in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for our sin? What motivates such endless love?

John Piper from “His Passion For His Glory:”

“The love of God for sinners is not His making much of them but His graciously freeing and empowering them to enjoy making much of Him.

Listen to this quote from Jonathon Edwards that I read a portion of earlier. “

“God in seeking His glory seeks the good of His creatures, because the emanation of His glory implies the happiness of His creatures. And in communicating his fullness for them, he does it for Himself, because of their good, which He seeks, is so much in union and communion with Himself.

God is their good.”

Because God is seeking His glory and our good, God is the only one who could possible provide for our salvation.

Romans 3:10-12

“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good not even one.”

Conversely 1 Timothy 2:5-6

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men the testimony given in its proper time.”

There are 2 reasons that God alone can provide for our salvation:

1. Because of God’s Righteousness

2. Because of God’s Glory

Since salvation is from God alone can provide for our salvation He alone gets the glory and credit for our redemption. This is also why we have true assurance of salvation, it is not dependent upon us but upon God.

Only God could provide for our salvation and only God can provide for our needs.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3

Every breath, every need, even every act of godliness is a gift of Divine Provision. God has and is giving us everything we need to bring about the fulfillment of His purpose and plan and to bring Him glory! And He is only that can provide for our needs. Because in the provision we are dependent upon Him and When we recognize that we bring Him glory.


“Spiritual DISCIPLINE”

Principle of Prayer

In any request, what brings God the most glory will always be for our best as well.

What is the purpose of prayer and bible study, in its most essential form?

For us to discover how to actively participate in God’s will and purpose and bring Him glory.

The Gospels tell us that God knows our needs before we ask. So why ask? So that by the asking we bring glory to God, and actively participate in His will.

This is why Jesus said in John 14…

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name and I will do it.” John 14:12-14

The key to asking anything in Jesus name or in accordance with God’s will is DOES IT BRING GOD GLORY?

What is the purpose of mediating on and studying scripture? It is to discover God’s plan and how we fit into it, and thereby direct our lives in such a way as to bring God glory!


“Spiritual DECISION Making”

In life, we can boil all that we do down to one thing, we make decisions, and we respond to the decisions of others. That’s it, decisions! You never commit a deed without first making a decision. It can be an conscious or an unconscious decision, but you will make a decision before you make any action.

What is a Decision?

A Decision is the catalyst for turning a DESIRE into a DEED that forges a DESTINY!

Now lets break that down into its elements. First of all…

1. A Desire never becomes a Deed without a DECISION.

Have you ever had a desire turn into a deed without a decision?

Now the decision may be a subconscious decision but you do make a decision.


2. Desires can be either: GOOD or BAD, SPIRITUAL or CARNAL. But they do not become Deeds without a Decision.

So what is the Key to making spiritual decisions? Decisions that will fit into God’s plan and purpose and bring Him glory?

The Key that unlocks the ultimate doorway of Destiny is DEVOTION.

We need to ask ourselves in every decision, “Who are we trying to please?”

The Key To Making Spiritual Decisions

Are we trying to please:




If the answer is anything other than Omnipotent God, we sin, and we fail to fulfill our purpose and bring glory to God.


Spiritual Life In PRACTICE.

“What ever is not of faith is sin.”

Faith is the only bridge that allows Spiritual Thinking to find its fulfillment in Spiritual Decision Making.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Hebrews 11:6

“What is Faith?”

FAITH is fully resting in the Fore-Acknowledgment that God is Fulfilling His divine purpose.

Furthermore, God will fulfill His purpose in us, through us, for us and if need be in-spite of us for His Glory.

Systematic Spiritual Life

Consists of These Elements

· Acknowledging the Divine Principle – THINK RIGHT!

“Spiritual Thinking”

· Accepting the Divine Provision – BE RIGHT!

“Spiritual Birth and Life”

· Applying the Divine Process – LEARN RIGHT!

“Spiritual Discipline”

· Assimilating A Divine Practice – DO RIGHT!

“Spiritual Decision Making”

· Accessing Divine Power – LIVE RIGHT!

“Spiritual Power - Faith”

If we were to view spiritual life as vehicle in which we going to travel through life:

· The Divine Principle would be the road map to show us where we are headed

· The Divine Provision would be the vehicle in which we travel

· The Divine Process would be engine

· The Divine Practice would be the steering to determine where we go

· The Divine Power would be the fuel that powers the vehicle

We need all of the parts to deliver us to our destination.

This is perhaps an oversimplified way of looking at Spiritual Life and it certainly is not all inclusive. It does not emphasize the critical role of The Holy Spirit, of Christ Jesus in His atoning sacrifice for our sins. It simply looks at how all of real Spiritual Life is designed for one thing… TO BRING GOD GLORY.

And remember… “God in seeking His glory seeks the good of His creatures, because the emanation of His glory implies the happiness of His creatures. And in communicating his fullness for them, he does it for Himself, because of their good, which He seeks, is so much in union and communion with Himself.

God is their good.” Jonathon Edwards “The End For Which God Created The World”